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Wednesday January 26, 1977

Pissed up indeed. Lynn Rhodes (my dear sister) fancied going out for a jar or two with me in the absence of Mr Baker, and I readily agreed. We caught a bus to the Hare and immediately entered into the spirit of the thing. Simon (Denise's work-mate) and his lady friend with the name that escapes me, sat with us and he was 'eyeing' Lynn all over. He thought I was indulging in a bit of  the old 'One-Two-Three-Knees-Up-Knickers-Off-Blossom-'Op-into-Bed-with-Me-My-Old-Fruit' and seemed saddened when I explained that Lynn is my sister. CB was in. She wasn't on form. Where was that famous humour that brought tears of joy to the eyes of thousands at many of the London Palladium matinees? It was because she was driving. The curse of the 20th century is the motor car. The prime example of the 'evil' wrought by this innovation is Christine Braithwaite.

The Trav....
Martyn came into the Hare and after depositing Lynn on the last bus at 10.45 or so the two of us went to the Stoney Lea at Ilkley with Karen, his sister. What a ruddy dead loss! Only six of us in the damned place and at midnight the bar closed and we were out on the street. This did not deter us. With Andy Dale and Chris (his next-door neighbour who was in the police force) we went on to Il Travatori, or El Lavatori, or whatever, which was once the Minstrel's Gallery. I demolished the best part of £7 and ended up in such a state. God. Was I gone? Blotto. Slept in Martyn's lounge from 4am to 7.30am. Please don't ask me how I felt.


Tuesday January 25, 1977

You'll all be thrilled to know it's getting near 'Silver Jubilee' time. Yes, just two weeks and Her Majesty will have reigned for a quarter of a century. A new book 'Majesty' by Robert Lacey is on the market soon to commemorate this wondrous occasion. The book should be an eye opener too because it contains details of Princess Margaret psychiatric treatment and the Duke of Edinburgh's sleeping arrangements. Oh, I can't be bothered today_____________.


Monday January 24, 1977

Bloody fog now. If it's not one thing, it's another. Down to the YP with Jim Rawnsley. Work was hellish. At lunch I went to the Register Office and got a form to send off to Worthing for my grandmother's birth certificate. She was born at Angmering actually - which is near Bognor.

Keith Brown came up at 7.30 to see if I fancy going to Sweden for the weekend on February 18. He mentioned it in the pub a few weeks ago but I haven't given it much thought since. Very tempting it is too. Mum says the trip will cost me £50 (the fare is £16.26 excluding food, drink, and pleasure), but I don't think it can cost as much as she thinks. I know it may seem extravagant after booking a holiday but I can hardly resist.

Lynne comes this evening and within minutes she's talked me out of this Scandinavian extravaganza. People all round me have 'common sense' - why? Am I such an imbecile? Is Michael Rhodes really off his rocker? These questions may never be answered, but they're worth thinking about. Down to the Hare for a couple. Sit with Judith and Kathryn. J looks delectable. She's more and more attractive.


Sunday January 23, 1977

3rd after Epiphany. Wake up at a late hour once again and Peter plays, loudly, an LP of military marches on his stereo. The three of us discuss Peter's bowels, &c. He tells us that his grandmother died at 4.30 this morning. I am embarrassed. What can I say? Should I dress in a black pullover and sing lamentations of mourning? Or do I ignore the situation? Mr Mather showed no emotion, and the whole family looked happier than usual. They seem to think that the old girl is better off out of it. At 80 she's had a good innings anyway.

In bed at Ty-Onnen
After a ridiculously late breakfast Peter, Chris, Lynne and I go to a remote forest (Dalby?) which seems miles away, and where Peter attempts to feed a bunch (or whatever the collective noun is) of ducks, over-fed ones too. To be honest, they didn't touch a crumb which was a bit 'off'' really because I expected more from them after we'd trailed half way across North Yorkshire just to see them.

Chris Ratcliffe, the Horsforth banker.
Back to Ty-Onnen for dinner and then on to Pickering cinema to see 'Josie Wales'. Yes, I've seen this one before too. Lynne stayed at home complaining of a headache and saying she was going to brush up on her Spanish. Christopher decided to return home tonight and I decided to accompany him. Fog. Back at Pine Tops for 12.30. Have a letter from Uncle Harry with details of his mother's birth-place &c, and details of the Upton family. Uncle H is brilliant.

Saturday January 22, 1977

Queen Victoria's big day again (she died on this day in 1901). Don't get out of bed until afternoon, and after 'breakfast' Mr & Mrs Mather go off in the direction of Scalebor Park to visit Mr M's mother, who is dying. Mrs Leah Virginia Mather (formerly Lee, born July 19, 1895), I think. (Just for genealogical purposes). Lynne and I look at a map of Sussex and find Angmering (where my grandmother is said to have been born). The place is about 3 miles from Arundel Castle, home of Uncle Miles. You never know, I might be the rightful Earl Marshal of England.

Peter: 'spot of bowel bother'.
At4 o'clock we go shopping to Scarborough . Not much really, but it satisfied Lynne at least. I loathe going round shops with females. Anything but that.

Mr & Mrs M get home at 7.30 to say Grandmama is on her last legs. We have chicken for dinner and then hang around until 10.30 waiting for Lynne to ready herself. Peter, Chris, Lynne and I go to the Bali Hai (Tiffany's) at Scarborough, which is nauseating. It's like a musical childrens' playground. Lynne complained the other week about the Penthouse being 'rough' but this place is far worse. Drank Pernod. Back to Ty-Onnen by 2.30. Completely shagged out. Peter had a spot of bowel bother and almost gassed Christopher to death.


Friday January 21, 1977

It's just about a year since John & Maria announced that they were expecting the arrival of a new addition to the family. It seems longer, somehow. Did my brother ever live here with us? Did I ever share a bedroom with him? These things seem deep in the past, and I cannot imagine him without Maria or baby JPH.

Ruth Upton, later Rhodes.
Home at 5. Uncle H is at the tea table. Discuss his mother and the Upton family. (Refer to the family papers, no room to discuss them here). He is slightly pissed, and at 6.30 he goes with Mum & Dad down to see John & Maria and the poor baby. Measles at 4 months old seems a little odd to me.

Down at the Hare: Lynne, John, Maria, Harry, Dad, Sue, Peter N, Lynn, Denise, Michelle, Tony, Chris, Pete M, &c. Pay Denise our £10 deposits (£70 in all) and all is nicely arranged now. I'm miserable when, at 11 o'clock, all the mob, including Carole and Naomi too, move on to Oakwood Hall, whilst Lynne and I had to drive to Thornton-le-Dale and miss all the fun and excitement. Had a serious talk on the journey. Lynne talks about moving back over here. I remind her of Stephanie Ferguson's flat in Burley-in-Wharfedale. I enjoy getting things off my chest like that. Like what? At Ty-Onnen we swill Martini with Karl and a pal of his. Bed at 4.30 and sit reading one of Peter's Enid Blyton books. Ugh!


Thursday January 20, 1977

That American slug, Jimmy Carter, became 39th US president today. Poor Henry Kissinger is no longer secretary of state and that nice Mr Rockerfeller's gone too, not forgetting President Ford, who was a good guy. This peanut breeder (sic) doesn't look up to much. He seems incapable of making intelligent conversation and I'm sure he'd make a better lyricist than a politician. Hammerstein and Carter, yes that's better. Why do I say this you ask? Well, everything he says seems to rhyme in a sickening sort of way. Enough of him anyway.
Master John Rhodes

Went to the Register Office in Leeds today and got the birth certificate of Christiana Ross (my great-grandmother Rhodes). She was born at Bramley on December 18, 1865. 112 years ago. Gee Whiz, it's Alfred the Great here we come.

Lynne came at 7.30 and we watched TV for a couple of hours. Went down to see John & Maria. JPH is a victim of the dreaded GERMAN MEASLES! The poor child looked ghastly, and it quite upset us all. Maria especially was very pale. Home at 11.30 to tell Mama of her grandson's ailment. Panic stations, nearly.


Wednesday January 19, 1977

More sweet dreams until 11.30 this morning. Dad brought me a drink in bed along with the radio before disappearing down to John & Maria's with Molly Macdonald to see JPH who's got a slight chill - poor bairn.

Nora Rhodes
Give Miss Akroyd a ring and tell her to go ahead booking the Hotel Pacific for July 10-July 24. I'm going to miss Sue's 18th birthday party, but it can't be helped. I shall just have to give her an extra large birthday present. Denise tells me she's having her 21st birthday party on July 9. Great stuff, eh? Also ring Lynne to tell her of the holiday details. She says she's going to Tenerife with a Miss Robinson from Harrogate, which I think is a good thing. If we're still going out together in July I will eat my own knee-cap but I wish a good holiday all the same.After lunch I go down to the Register Office in Guiseley and obtain a copy of Mum's birth certificate (Pudsey, January 2, 1935). Don't manage to get my Grandad and Grandma Wilson's marriage certificate because I don't know the name of the church. I went to the 'Stable Door' shop at White Cross and bought another Victorian-style print for Mum and Dad (birthday present).

Ring Auntie Mabel. Discover he parents married at St Paul's (church) Stanningley. She also related to me several tales of her maternal grandparents, who are buried at Pudsey cemetery. I say I'll be over to rumage in the cemetery shortly. She agrees to join me in  my macabre search.